I sent out an email to my mailing list to recruit agents. I didn’t want to give away the exact nature of the prank for fear of word spreading to Best Buy employees ahead of time. I had to be as vague as possible and still make sure everyone wore the correct clothing:
I staked out the Best Buy a few times leading up to the mission. I wanted to figure out the exact shade of blue they used for their uniforms. One detail I noticed is that all employees wore belts and black shoes. I figured it would be against policy to film in the store, so any cameras we used would have to be somewhat hidden. In addition cameras could also be “hidden” in plain sight by using Best Buy’s demo cameras to document the mission. All we would have to do is bring in blank tapes and memory cards to insert in their own video and still cameras.
It had been a rainy morning, and I was worried that most agents would show up with rain jackets and umbrellas, something Best Buy employees surely would not have on their person while working. Fortunately the rain stopped about an hour before our meet up time and most folks came empty handed. One Agent had a car parked nearby and let folks store their backpacks in his trunk for the duration of the mission. Agent Simmons was particularly resourceful, opting to check his bag at the on his way to the meeting point.
The idea for this mission was submitted by a stranger via email. Agent Slavinsky wrote in to suggest I get either a large group of people in blue polo shirts and khakis to enter a Best Buy or a group in red polo shirts and khakis to enter a Target. Wearing clothing almost identical to the store’s uniform, the agents would not claim to work at the store but would be friendly and helpful if anyone had a question. There aren’t any Targets in Manhattan, so I decided to go with the two-story Best Buy on 23rd Street.
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